Day 9: Trinidad After breakfast, we drive out to the surrounding Sierra del Escambray mountain range, an unspoiled wooded landscape of deep valleys punctuated with streams, caves, and exotic flora and fauna. Coffee is also cultivated in the shade of pine and eucalyptus trees of the mountain slopes here, and we visit a small plantation to meet with a coffee farmer and his family to learn what it's like to live and work in this region of great natural beauty. After lunch, we return to Trinidad.Meals included: B L D - Accomodations: Hotel La Ronda
Wednesday January 18
The bus takes us into the mountains. Nice things to see but not easy to take photos. And I probably should have cleaned my window, ha-ha.
Those yellow flowerstalks intrigued me. They were huge.
James played around to find out the altitude.
We visited a Botanical Garden which was mostly about coffee.
Andrés, the self proclaimed coffee-pope, was both knowledgable and funny. Very entertaining. He talked about the health benefits of coffee together with other herbs and such. At the end I was able to give him my email address and he mailed me a 27 page report he had written. It has to wait until I am back in Richmond for me to read it.
Across the street we could taste some coffee.
Not enough chairs for all. No problem.
Next to the bus a huge hedge with loads of gorgeous flowers.
Next stop at a coffee farmer. The whole family, the old couple and 4 (married) children, are all living close and working together. They were very proud to show us their houses. The old couples' first and behind the younger couples'.
Coffee beans drying in the sun.
It has to get turned to dry properly.
We sat in the shade for Q & A.
When the bus was just about to pull away Migdalia asked whether anybody happened to have sun cream they don't need any more. The younger farmer had a skin problem. James had his from the visit to the beach yesterday still in his backpack. Lucky!
Not far we have lunch.
Family style. Please pass the bowls and plates.
Raul is a good driver. Those hairpin turns and up hills and downhills are something else.
We came again to the look out view Migdalia had promised us we would stop on the way back. A load of steps to climb with a full tummy, especially cerveza.
So worth it!!!
2 second video! On the way down ... the hummingbird was just too cute but I couldn't get the video ready fast enough because I couldn't help watching either. Multitasking?
This photo was taken by James!
From the bus window again.
It's in the details.
Raul stopped short before our hotel. Migdalia wanted to show us the ration shop. Every Cuban has a ration card to get certain things at his/her allotted shop.
Ha-ha, what did I tell you? Got to make our bed again tonight. We might be tipping too much. Did I tell you already ... Cuba is one of those countries where you leave a CUC per person on the pillow each morning.
We had some free time. I couldn't resist visiting the woodcarver's shop again. He must have finished the one in the first photo since yesterday. It didn't have any coloring in yesterday's photo.
It's just fun to walk around in a town like this ... lots of character! Almost back at the hotel I see a young couple (obvious tourists like us) and she is carrying one of those bags made by the weavers. Gosh, I had meant to buy one. I had a chance to ask her where she found it and they told us exactly where ... Around the corner. We quickly make a u-turn and I get two (one stuck in the other for transportation). Happy!
Dinner was a fair well dinner at the hotel. Not the fanciest but still fun. Live music too.
And a surprise. The hotel gave each person/couple a bottle of rum (7 years) and a bottle of red wine (which we enjoyed before the night was over - well, not all of it).
The selection of little taste bottles were hard to find but the hotel happen to have some for us to buy.